Finding the Woman I Used to Be

by Melanie Edwards on February 21, 2013 · 3 comments

in Motherhood,Women

Finding the Woman I Used to Be

At the beginning of this year, I reflected on what I am looking forward to for 2013 and shared some personal goals and planned changes. One of those is to grow my knowledge this year – to read more, learn something new, enhance a skill – something along those lines. You see, I used to have lots of dreams, ambitions, and the energy and drive to do it all. Somehow, in the hustle and bustle of wanting to be a good mom, and be there…I lost that.

My husband has noticed. My family has noticed. And, slowly, I came to the realization myself. I have moments of pure brain mush – where I can’t tap into knowledge I know I once had. I can’t remember how to do the complex math problems I used to do when studying years and years of high-level math and science during my Engineering courses. Heck, I can’t even work in that field now without going back to school. It’s just not there anymore.

That’s just but one example of how I feel I’m no longer the woman I used to be. I know I have goals in mind, but they are not as clearly defined as they once used to be. I know I’m motivated, but it’s not showing in tangible results – at least not in my mind. So, what’s a woman to do? How do I bring my snappy, energetic, ambitious, and intelligent self back?

To be honest, I haven’t quite figured this out yet. I’ve thought about buying myself a study book to revisit topics like math and science, just to give my brain a chance to be stimulated in a different manner. I’ve considered enrolling in some kind of local class or program. There are many options, obviously, but I have yet to narrow down my personal choices and decide what it is that I currently need. I suppose that’s a process in and of itself, right?

I’ll have to work on figuring this out and finding myself again (so to speak). In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you – do you ever find yourself wondering where the woman you were has gone? Do you find that motherhood has, in a way, stripped you of your previous identity?

Original photo: Fabiana/Flickr

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blessing @ WorkingMomJounal February 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm

This is such a short but very strong post. You really shared a lot. I don’t think that it’s bad that you are no longer the person that you once were. I think that you have evolved and that’s okay. What’s more important like you mentioned is to keep learning. As an engineer, i really do not like engineering and I am more of a business oriented/managerial kind of person, so I am looking for ways to step out of this career to where I can use more of my gift and talent. I am using sites like Lynda.com to learn new skills and to get myself out of my comfort zone.

I think motherhood has strengthened me. And there are days that I wish I was single and such but honestly, I love being a mother more than I love to be single. But, I understand what you mean about identity-stripping and how kids somehow take who we once were away. But, I think that’s what life is about. And we just have to make way for the new, and focus on what’s ahead and the best way to deal with it. Or, in my case. I have retired myself to one child, that’s the most I can handle to have the career and lifestyle I want. It’s not easy travelling the world with five kids in toe, lol!

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2 Melanie Edwards March 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I agree that in many ways motherhood has strengthened me. There are many skills I’ve acquired through motherhood too. But, I know it has taken away some of the ‘me’ that was there before.

Like you said, evolving is a good thing and I plan to continue to evolve, even if in an effort to get some of ‘me’ back. ;)

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3 David December 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

Wow, I can so relate to this. We were brought up to think that education and career are the most important and we define ourselves by it early on. When we become parents, our goals change. Parenting requires a lot of work and energy, and a lot of learning. A person can only good at where they put their energy. Our energy goes into our children’s lives, raising them correctly, being there for them, preparing them for a future career and future parenthood. We want our children to be educated and have a good career so that they can support themselves, do the things they want to do, and be able to raise a family if they choose. At some point, when our children get older, we reflect back on our own lives and ambitions. I think this is natural.

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